Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja 2009 Volume 41, Issue 2, Pages: 477-495
doi:10.2298/ZIPI0902477T
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Curriculum as a support to investigative approach in learning chemistry

Tomašević Biljana, Trivić Dragica, Bojović Snežana

One of the main reasons for low achievement of our students in international tests is the lack of functional, applicable knowledge. Formation of such knowledge demands changing the usual way of implementation of instruction (transfer of ready-made knowledge) to learning through performing simple research and practical work. Considering the fact that instruction, as an organised process, takes place in frameworks determined in advance, which are arranged and regulated on the national level by curricula, it is assumed that this kind of approach must originate precisely from curricula, which is not the case in our educational practice. The goal of this paper was to determine the way in which this kind of approach in instruction and learning of chemistry can be supported by the curriculum, in order for it to become a part of regular teaching practice on the national level. The paper presents how different structural components of curricula from eight different educational systems (four European countries, one Asian country, two American federal states and one Canadian province) are used to promote and support the importance of research work in instruction and learning of chemistry. The curricula from Slovenia, England, Denmark, Malta, Singapore, North Carolina, Utah and Ontario were analyzed in order to determine the kind of information they offer within structural components and accordingly, the way in which each component promotes research approach to learning chemistry, how it guides the teacher in planning such activities in the classroom, organization and performing instruction, monitoring and evaluating students' achievements.

Keywords: curriculum, goals, outcomes, standards, monitoring and evaluating students' accomplishment

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